Review: Sail to India

Sail to India (AEG, 2013) is a deep strategy and exploration game in a very small and light box. Using only 24 cards, and small wood cubes, the game lets up to 4 players set sail from Lisboa as Portuguese explores, trading and settling their way to India. The cards are set up face-down in a linear map, and flipped over as the game progresses as the world is 'discovered'. It employs a classic Euro-style worker placement mechanic, causing players to vie for the same resources in order to build up their strength. The genius here is in the economy of materials: the wooden blocks that are used for players' ships also become 'bankers' to track money, 'ship builders' to track ship speed, as well as 'historians' to track victory points. Thus, what begins as a method of reducing the number of pieces, becomes a core element of the strategy and restriction in the game.

You will need to allocate blocks in such a way so that you can score the points you're acquiring. If you don't have a free block to score a victory point, you don't get the point. Technology upgrades and other bonuses provide important ways for players to win the game. This is a game that must be planned and strategized in order to be won. There is very little luck, and a tight competitive style. While the box says 3-4 players, it can be effectively played with 2. Overall, it is a brilliant and quite beautiful small box strategy game, with high replayability value. Sail on! – Review by Harley Adams

Check out the Board Game Geek entry for more info on game.